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Ellen Tiedje Memorial Award - Kara Dempster

September 10, 2010

Kara Dempster says her undergraduate experience was a juggling act, but nowas a medical student at Western she has found more balance.

This is in large part due to The Ellen Tiedje Memorial Award she received thispast year.

“Receiving this award has removed a huge amount of financial stress from my life and has granted me the time, space, and energy to throw myself fully into mymedical education,” says Kara who completed her undergraduate degree in NovaScotia. “Without the added stress of having to earn money on top of pursuingacademic excellence, not only have I been able to reach my highest potential inclassroom activities, I have had more time for extracurricular learningopportunities. Most importantly however, as a future health care professional,the financial assistance has given me the liberty to take care of myself, bothmentally and physically. Without having to juggle employment and academics, I have a bit more time to pursue personal interests, work out, and get some sleep.”

The Ellen Tiedje Memorial Award is awarded to a full-time undergraduatestudent entering the first year of the Doctor of Medicine program, based onoutstanding academic achievement, and demonstrated financial need. The $5,000 award was established by John and Dorothy Tiedje through FoundationWestern in memory of their daughter, Ellen, a Medicine ‘74 graduate who waskilled in a car accident in 1975 with her husband, Harry Butterfield.

Kara believes student scholarship donations are imperative to promoting equaleducational opportunities for all deserving young minds.

“There are so many capable young people that are never given the opportunityto reach their full potential,” she notes. “Financial assistance is one way that mayhelp such students pursue their academic goals without barriers. I feel so lucky to have been given financial support while in pursuit of my academic goals. Mydonor has not only made a huge contribution to me personally, but also to myfuture patients and colleagues. I will never ever forget any assistance given to meon my path towards becoming a doctor and I intend to pay this generosityforward in the future.”

Kara hopes to practice pediatric psychiatry upon graduation.

“I have a marked interest in mental health advocacy and treatment and I thinkthat the role of preventative strategies for treatable mental health conditions, aswell as improvements in public awareness of the subject and research into thearea will increase substantially in years to come facilitating a rewarding,interesting, and sustainable career.”


This article appeared in the 2010 edition of Student Awards Recipient Report
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